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#370283 03/12/10 09:22 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Ambergris Today got a call late afternoon yesterday about a barge stuck on the reef. We set to investigate the matter and upon arriving on site, 8 miles north of San Pedro Town (close to Blue Reef Resort), we discovered that the 20-foot barge had flipped over and was lying on top of the coral reef. Ambergris Today was first on site and was quick to contact the proper authorities to follow up on the matter before more damage was done to the coral reef. Speculations are that the barge was being tugged by another vessel outside the reef in open waters and for some reason was cut loose, drifting towards Ambergris Caye. Upon hitting the reef, it flipped over and lodged itself on the reef. There were no signs of other vessels in the area at the time or personnel who could have been on the barge. Ambergris Today will keep you posted.

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 118
wow, what a sight.

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 206
This is an uneducated question, but can something like this eventually become a benefit if sunk in deeper water? I know they sink ships in order to perpetuate articficial reefs, but in this case can any positive result occur?

Last edited by Canam; 03/12/10 11:30 AM.
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 955
Probably what will happen if its in good shape is it will be removed and then used by the town board or sold to one of the Freight companys.

The Amigos Wreck is a barge similar to this and yes it has attracted healthy marine life although it has shifted since its sinking as its quite small at 60ft.


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Marty Offline OP
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March 12, 2010

There is a barge lodged on the reef near Ambergris Caye. The barge is estimated to be 30 feet by 23 feet in size and is currently stuck on the reef some eight miles north of San Pedro Town near Blue Reef Resort. With the wave actions, the barge turned upside down and lodged itself where it remains tonight. Authorities believe that it happened sometime during the course of last night since residents travelling in the area, state that the vessel was not there yesterday. Port Authority, Coast Guard and the Department of the Environment has been on the scene since morning investigating the incident. Earl Valerio is the Head of the Port Authority Office in San Pedro Town and told us more.

Earl Valerio; Head, Port Authority Office

"We were trying to get it off the reef. We are trying to separate the sections of the barge because it has three sections. They have cut some of the metal that holds the barge together; there was a section that was under water. It was cut with a hag saw. It looks like it floated in because it is sitting firmly on the reef and there are some cuts on the top part of the barge. It has no markings on it. The barges in Belize are marked; they have some markings with numbers and sometimes the name of the mother ship on them but that barge has no marking on it. We are only speculating but maybe it broke away from a bigger convoy and then floated into Belize. It is highly unlikely that it belongs to a Belizean because where it is lodged right now it seems as though it floated out from the high seas and landed directly on the reef."

The barge has no markings and authorities believe that it is a part of a larger vessel that may have drifted in the open waters outside of Ambergris Caye. Authorities are working in dismantling then removing the barge before it causes more damage to the reef.


Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 69
Must have been some big waves to flip that barge upside down.

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 13,675
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I was there yesterday, what a mess its making of the reef!
Wrecks are used in making artificial reef when there is no reef...We have reef and the wrecks just damage what we have.
sinking programs are not beneficial in Belize. Storms move them around and they damage the real reef. Thats what I learned from the Marine Reserve officer.

White Sands Dive Shop
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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A barge is lodged on Belize’s reef off Ambergris Caye tonight. The 30 by 23 foot barge is stuck on an area of the reef 8 miles north of San Pedro Town. No one knows how it got there or who owns it but it was discovered yesterday afternoon. It most likely floated into Belize’s territorial waters and ran into the reef after which furious waves flipped it and it landed on the reef. The Port Authority, Coast Guard, and Department of Environment responded this morning. Ports Commissioner John Flowers told us via phone that the priority is removing the vessel from the reef. He told us how they plan to do it.

John Flowers, Ports Commissioner
“We are trying to utilize the weather we have, the weather is pretty good, the seas are flat, and so we are trying to make haste to use this window of opportunity to remove the barge off the reef. This barge is actually in three sections of 10 feet by 23 feet. These sections are put together so the total sixes is 30 by 23. If we were able to break it down into the three sections of 10 by 23 we would be able to move it easily and that is what we intend to do, break it back down into sections and remove it from the reef.”

Keith Swift,
“Any idea where this barge came from?”

John Flowers,
“At this moment no, we haven’t been able to establish that. We know it is not a barge from one of the local companies. It probably broke loose from a tug somewhere in the open Caribbean seas and with the weather condition and the seas it drifted into our waters. We hope that after we get the barge under safe shelter, after it is off the reef, we will be able to find some identification mark on it where we could probably do contact tracing.”

[Pictures Courtesy: San Pedro Sun.] When we spoke to the Ports Commissioner late this evening, he told us the barge is still on the reef but efforts will continue tomorrow to remove it. He noted that it is a slow process. Once removed it is the Department of Environment that will step in to assess the damage.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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I bet its scraping the crap outta the reef

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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A barge (est. 30 feet x 23 feet) is currently stuck on the reef eight miles north of San Pedro Town (exact coordinates 18.01 degrees, 33.8 mins North, 87.50 degrees, 26.4 mins West) lodged on the reef near Blue Reef Resort. Port Authority, Coast Guard and the Department of the Environment were on the scene this morning investigating the incident.The barge, bearing no markings, is welded in three places and authorities hope that once broken down, some sort of identification mark will be able to be found. Investigators believe that the barge was a part of a bigger vessel that broke down and drifted in the open waters outside of Ambergris Caye.
With the wave action, the barge turned upside down and lodged itself where it remains. This they believe happened sometime during the course of the night since residents traversing that area, state that the vessel was not there yesterday.It is now the Port Commissioner's decision as to what to do with the vessel. Port Authority believes that with the assistance of the Department of Environment, the barge can be broken down and removed before more damage to the environment can be done.

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